It is a well known fact, that a hefty budget does not guarantee a good horror movie. By that same token, grassroots indie horror is not always better or more highbrow than the big budget stuff…believe me, I know what I’m talking about.
Let’s face it, it takes so much more than money, or lack thereof, to create something great, and knowing that, I always try to go into to every movie, big or small, with an open mind and just wait to be wowed by something amazing…I am often disappointed.
Surprisingly, this was not the case with the Rasmussen brothers sophomore film The Inhabitants which, to my delight, turned out to be one of the better films I’ve seen all year.
Don’t you love it when that happens?
Despite the fact that the trailer made the film seem pretty epic, I was not fully enthusiastic to check out what I thought would be a run of the mill haunted house flick. The whole surveillance camera bit didn’t appeal to me in the least either…in short, I was almost expecting some boring BS reminiscent of Paranormal Activity. Don’t be fooled though, there’s so much more to The Inhabitants than meets the eye.
It starts off as typical horror fare, an attractive young couple move into a haunted house (this time it’s a haunted Inn called the March Carriage Bed & Breakfast) and almost immediately, a dark presence (India Pearl) descends on the pair, threatening to destroy them and everything they hold dear.
Sounds simple enough.
What elevates The Inhabitants above the rest, is the backstory (which I won’t ruin by sharing), the setting (the 350 year old Noyes-Parris House, whose original owners played a very real part in the Salem Witch Trials) and more than anything, the refreshingly natural, wholly believable performances by its stars Elise Couture and Michael Reed.
Couture is equal parts adorable and unsettling in the role of Jess, a young woman looking to realize her dream of owning a New England bed and breakfast and who ends up with far more than she bargained for. Reed on the other hand, as Jess’s laid back and devoted husband Dan, is the perfect foil for his co-star and the two make a wholeheartedly likable pair. What’s also nice (and so tragically uncommon in films) is that the two main stars have a comfortable chemistry that speaks of deep intimacy and leaves one with the sense of watching a real, loving couple.
What happens to these young lovers will probably not scare you senseless, but tension runs high in this atmospheric horror/thriller and there are definitely some fun frights around every corner. More than that though, The Inhabitants is a damn good watch and one hell of a good movie, it’s a horror film with some real substance, and hell if that ain’t worth more than the price of admission.
The Inhabitants will be released on October 13th on VOD and is currently available for pre-order on iTunes.